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After Canada’s National Inquiry Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Will North America Reckon With the Ongoing Genocide of Indigenous Women?

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Chief Commissioner Marion Buller speaks at the closing ceremony marking the conclusion of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, on June 3rd, 2019. After two and a half years of hearings, a Canadian inquiry released its final report on the disappearance and death of hundreds if not thousands of indigenous women, victims of endemic violence that the commission controversially said amounted to “genocide.”

Canada’s $92 million National Inquiry Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls was released on June 3rd. In announcing the report, Chief Commissioner Marion Buller declared that the damage being done to Native women represents a “deliberate race, identity, and gender-based genocide.”

When asked about the report by APTN reporter Tina House, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We accept the findings of the commissioners that it was genocide, but our focus is going to be, as it must be, on the families, on the communities that have suffered such loss, on the systems that have repeatedly failed indigenous women and girls across this country.”

Trudeau’s statement seemed marked by reluctance, so House reiterated her question by drawing on the testimony from affected families: “Yesterday, many of the families that we spoke with said it was important for them to hear the acknowledgement coming from you,” she said. “Is that a yes or no? Do you believe it was genocide?”

Trudeau responded, “I have acknowledged that I accept the findings of the report and the issue that we have is that people are getting wrapped up in debates over a very important and powerful term, and our focus—as I’ve said—we accept those findings, we accept the finding that this was genocide. We will move forward to end this ongoing national tragedy.”

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Thanks !

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